Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1935-1950. First edition. Hardcover. Large quartos. Vol.1: Levels I-VIII. (xvi) 220pp. + 86 plates. 12.5x9.5". Green buckram boards with silver lettering on the spine. Vol.2: Levels IX-XX. "Museum Monographs". (10) 260pp. + 182 plates. 8.5x11". Illustrated grey cloth boards with black lettering on the front cover and spine. Photo-illustrated frontispieces, depicting the mound of the site.
The publication is a comprehensive examination and analysis of the excavations done at the site of the ancient Mesopotamian settlement of Tepe Gawra, in was is now Nineveh Province, in Northern Iraq. The site, which was occupied from approximately 5000-1500 B.C., is seen as a significant discovery in Mesopotamian archaeology as it represents one of the few sites with artifacts dating from the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period.
The work covered in the volumes was done in 1927, and 1931-38, by a joint expedition from the University of Pennsylvania and the American Schools of Oriental Research, headed for most of that time by Ephraim Avigdor Speiser. The volumes cover the excavation of the stratified levels of the site, from the top downward, going further back in time, with vol.1 covering the first 8, and vol.2 covering the subsequent 11 layers of the dig. The publication contains a total of 268 b/w plates, with vol.2 alone containing 70 plates in photogravure (many of which feature multiple images). The plates illustrate various aspects of the dig, including work at the site, individual artifacts, and detailed topographic and architectural maps depicting the content of the various layers, geography and spacial layout of the structures. Several of the maps in vol.2 are multipage fold-outs, with two measuring 13.5x17". The extensive visual survey is accompanied by text elucidating the contents of the individual plates, organized by content, and giving copious amounts of the other historical and technical background on the excavation.
Vol.2 with some light smudging the covers and the spine, with some light bumping and rubbing to the corners and the head & tail of the spine. Light smudges and spotting to the edges of the book blocks. Interior of vol.1 with some light foxing and smudges to the endpapers and interior covers, as well as the edges of the frontispiece. Ex-libris of previous owner at the interior front cover. Vol.2 with previous owner's signature in pen at the interior front cover, notes in pencil at the front free endpapers, and some minor stains to the title page. Book blocks tight. Bindings in good+ to near fine, interiors in very good to very good+ condition overall. g+ to near fine. Item #43023